Skip to main content

tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  May 8, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

1:00 pm
initially arias claimed that she'd heard rumors of her boyfriend's death and that there had been lots of blood. it would be two years later that she would admit to killing alexander, but she says in self-defense. according to the prosecution, jodi arias is a skillful liar who used a pistol that she'd stolen from her grandparents' home to murder travis alexander. if the jury find her guilty of first-degree murder, she could face the death penalty. nbc's diana alviar is at the courthouse. diana, you have been following this trial from the beginning. it's been 17 weeks. how would you describe the case as it stands today? >> reporter: hi, martin. well, i can tell you for one thing it is definitely verdict day. there are news choppers dotting the sky. they're camped out right in front of the courthouse, spectators, family members and lots of members of the media. everybody waiting for this verdict.
1:01 pm
it's been four months. a very salacious trial. details that, you know, the kinds of things you'll never forget hearing in that kind of a courtroom. a very long time for everybody involved. everybody's just ready to hear that verdict. now there's just one charge against jodi arias. today we're going to find out what her fate is. and that jury, i was watching them throughout that trial. they were paying very close attention to everything. >> the world is certainly watching. diana, in her case, she originally said that she'd heard about this murder. then she suggested that it was perpetrated by intruders and she somehow had escaped. then two years later, she admits to murder. >> reporter: well, absolutely. you know, the thing with the whole two masked intruders came into the house and they pointed a gun at my head and pulled the trigger and it didn't go off and i was able to escape from the
1:02 pm
house and i didn't go back for travis, there was a lot of detail in that story about these two masked intruder. then suddenly she gets on that stand and says it was self-defense. this is what was so hard for the public to swallow. if you go on social media, if you go on twitter, there are people that have been following this trial since the very first day and say they just can't buy jodi arias's story. they just can't buy that she was a battered woman. and i spent all day yesterday outside there with the spectators talking to them. and a few of the women there said, you know, i'm a battered woman. i survived beatings from my ex-husband or ex-partner. and i know what it's like to go through something like that. they are absolutely convinced that jodi arias was not a battered woman. then there are some people who say, you know, you don't know what jodi arias went through. they buy her story. they believe there's more to it and they don't buy what the prosecution is selling. >> diana, you just referenced the fact that choppers are in the sky. in fact, we have a helicopter shot of increasing crowds gathering just outside the court area. i can assure you, they're not
1:03 pm
all members of the media. these are obviously ordinary members of the public who have arrived to discuss this case. as i understand it, in her defense, she was claiming that she suffered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder which somehow impaired her memory, which caused her not to be able to recollect exactly what happened. how effective a defense do you think that was? >> reporter: you know, it's so hard to tell. like i said before, i was watching the jury as they were watching the defense attorney. and they were watching jodi. and they were taking notes. they were being very conscientious. here in arizona the jury can ask questions. they were sending questions to be asked. specifically saying why did jodi do this? why did jodi do that? why did she say this? this is a jury who's paying attention. whether they're going to buy her changing story, we'll find out in just a matter of minutes. this is a jury like i said that's determined to get it right. they worked through their lunches. yesterday they took one break.
1:04 pm
that was for a handful of them to go outside and have a smoke break. it looks like this is a jury that knew they had a very difficult task ahead of them and, you know, today's the day we're going to hear what they have to say. >> we absolutely are. diana, we're grateful to you. please stay there. we'll come back to you shortly. but i want to bring in karen de soto and kiricky cleemen, two former prosecutors and defense attorneys. ricky, what do you think of the decision by the defense to put this defendant on the stand for i believe something like 18 days? >> well, 18 days is absolutely unheard of. i always had a rule in my practice that you never put a criminal defendant on the stand unless it's absolutely necessary. well, was it absolutely necessary? she was claiming self-defense. the only person who can testify to the alleged abuse, the only person who can testify what it was like to be jodi arias in a relationship with travis alexander, was, in fact, jodi
1:05 pm
arias. now, 18 days, may have, may not have, but may be to her benefit if she got some sympathy somehow from these jurors that they would either come back with a lesser included defense or even if they come back with first degree, that they might spare her life. >> during those 18 days, she was seen to cry on occasions. she was seen to break down. the impact of a woman claiming to have been violently assaulted and threatened by a man, present before the jury. >> well, you also had tapes of travis alexander. i mean, it's not just jodi arias saying that he was, quote, unquote, perverse. but you had these salacious tapes where travis alexander becomes, then, the defendant on trial. something jurors could get very angry about that the defense did. or they can say, hey, wait. maybe she's not making all of it up. >> karen, the problem here is that there are some very important pieces of evidence
1:06 pm
which appear certainly superficially to be almost insurmountable. first of all, we have the fact that jodi arias steals a weapon from her grandparents' home and the same weapon is used to murder travis alexander. now, does that not speak to intent? does that not suggest that this wasn't a woman immediately defending herself as a man was attacking her, but rather there was real planning that went on here? that was strategic. she went and stole the weapon. she brings it to the location. and she deploys it. >> right. what i can tell you is that when you employ a self-defense strategy or battered wife syndrome, those are very difficult defenses in any stretch of the imagination. when you add into it premedication factors just as you just listed, the buying of the gun, the gasoline, the fact she was dating another person at the time, those don't lend credibility to a person who's in fear, who's scared, who's been brainwashed. those are just pieces of the
1:07 pm
puzzle. jurors don't like holes in cases. from a common sense standpoint, you would think that that's going to really nail the coffin, literally, for jodi arias. again, as rikki stated before, she was on the stand for 18 days. i know rikki and i have both seen cases and have been involved in cases where jurors have come back and the verdict has been definitely different than what we would have ever thought. so in this case we might see a second degree or a manslaughter, because somebody may have a sister or a relative that was brainwashed by some guy they were dating. and they will give her the benefit of the doubt. martin, in that -- those circumstances, you don't know what fwoez on in the jurors' minds. you don't know what backgrounds they come from. that's why we always tell your clients, you know what? you can go to trial. there's a 50/50 chance it can go either way. >> absolutely. rikki, what did you think of the performance of deputy maricopa county attorney juan martinez who walked around the courtroom,
1:08 pm
threw loads of allegations, was quickly and repeatedly called to account by the judge and admonished several times? he says, speaking of jodi arias creating an alibi by going to see a one time romantic attachment in utah, he says this. she continues on to utah into his waiting arms. gosh, you can almost hear the violins making their sound as she goes up to him, gives him that first kiss. isn't that romantic? but how effective is it when you're attacking a defendant, a woman in those circumstances? >> well, she's worthy of attack, martin. i mean, she has earned the right to be attacked. because she is such a manipulative liar. and it's one of the things that the defense countererred, i thought, rather well in their closing argument. when it was said, i don't even like her nine days out of ten. but she is not on trial for lying. so although mr. martinez was well over the top throughout the trial, he was also highly
1:09 pm
effective if you listen to the public comment, who really appreciated him. because the public comment, it may not be the trial jurors, but the public comment was this is a woman who has done a bad thing and the public is indignant just like juan martinez. >> diana, are you still with us outside the court? >> reporter: i am. yes, martin. >> great. when you saw juan martinez questioning jodi arias and also then in his summing up, how effective do you think he was in making the case that this was a pathological liar in front of the jury as opposed to a defenseless, weak, abused woman? >> reporter: you know, it's really interesting. because during the course of the trial the juan martinez that you saw was this very attacking type prosecutor. he was coming at her. he was going at all the witnesses. raising his voice. in fact, jodi arias through a friend was tweeting anger
1:10 pm
management problems? that was the kind of impression we were getting from prosecutor martinez. but on closing day, totally different type of attitude. much more hushed tones. much more as he was trying to put it, respect for the real victim as he said, travis alexander. trying to get the jury to understand that put aside all the salacious details. put aside all the lies. let's concentrate on the person who died by being stabbed 27 times, his throat slit and shot. it really felt like almost a funereal tone from prosecutor martinez. i would like to know for one what type of lasting effect that had on the jury. >> intedeed, we'll get that rest soon. please stay with us as we continue to wait on the jodi arias verdict. we'll be right back in a moment. >> we have confirmation that they were bound and there was chains and ropes in the home. >> were these women ever allowed outdoo outdoors, to your knowledge. >> very rarely.
1:11 pm
they were released out in the backyard once in a while. pull out the paper and what? another article that says investors could lose tens of thousands of dollars in hidden fees on their 401(k)s?! seriously? seriously. you don't believe it? search it. "401(k) hidden fees." then go to e-trade and roll over your old 401(k)s to a new e-trade retirement account. we have every type of retirement account. none of them charge annual fees and all of them offer low cost investments. why? because we're not your typical wall street firm that's why. so you keep more of your money. e-trade. less for us. more for you. and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore.
1:12 pm
[ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ]
1:13 pm
1:14 pm
it is a busy afternoon. we're awaiting a verdict in the jodi arias trial. but at 5:00 p.m. also, we expect to hear from cleveland police about possible charges against three brothers who allegedly abducted and held captive three young women, one of whom conceived a child, for more than ten years. two of the three victims have been able to return home today while one is receiving medical care at a local hospital. even as details continue to emerge of their horrific ordeal. joining us now is our correspondent craig melville. craig, we were told that the authorities had until tonight to charge these suspects. do we have any details as to what these charges may be?
1:15 pm
>> reporter: martin, at this point we're hearing that the two primary charges will be kidnapping and rape. at this point it's still not clear whether all three of the castro brothers will be charged with kidnaps or rape or perhaps just 52-year-old ariel castro, the alleged master mind, if you will. there's still some confusion over who is going to be charged with what. we do expect those charges as you indicated to come down before the end of the day, perhaps at that news conference at 5:00. i want to show you something here, martin. this is a scene that just started to develop about 35 minutes ago. take a look behind me. in the white suits, white cleaning suits, that's the fbi's evidence response team. they are back today. they're also back with a k-9 as well. we've also seen a photographer. this is the first time we've seen any sort of law enforcement activity at the house where those three women were kept. this is first time we've seen
1:16 pm
any activity today. i want to bring in someone now, martin. this is khalid suma. khalid suma, for a number of years, you were with the city of cleveland as an assistant public safety director? >> right. >> reporter: and you came to know 52-year-old ariel castro. one of the three men expected to be charged here at any point. what did you know about him? how did you come to know him? >> ariel had came to us. he's a friend of the family. his daughter was supposed to spend the night at gina's house the day that she came up missing. he came back and was involved with us door to door for saturation of the community. we had a large organized piece i put together for a search. he was one of the ones that took a search team out to saturate the neighborhood. >> reporter: so while you guys were searching for these missing girls, ariel castro was part of that search? >> he was one of the leaders. the castro family is well known.
1:17 pm
i didn't know i was talking to dr. frankenstein. the castro family is a large family here. they've worked with us to resolve gang conflicts and were very engaged in doing positive things. little did i know ariel was a part of this devious crime. >> reporter: were there any indications at that point, looking back, any indications that something might have been askew? >> looking back, i can only say that he hugged the father. the father hugged him. he knew the family. he helped get coffee and doughnuts to people who went out and looked for gina. so he was very much a part of it. you know, hooe's like a classic serial pedophile. gets imbedded with the family, the community, even though he has another thing going on. the only other thing i knew, i would see him sometimes at mcdonald's buying a lot of breakfast food. i didn't think he had a large family. i knew his wife had left him or
1:18 pm
whatever. i didn't ask him why he bought all that food, thought he was giving the dog some mcdonald's stuff. >> khalid suma, community organizer now. for a number of years, martin, worked with the city of cleveland. as you heard there, helped organize the search effort for gina dejesus who was reunited with her family earlier today. i want to show you something else that developed while we were talking, martin. the evidence response team that i mentioned, they have been on the outside of the castro home. within the past 30 or 45 seconds we saw members of that fbi team go into this first house as well. again, that's the first time that we've seen that today. again, that's the first time we've seen any sort of movement on behalf of law enforcement outside the castro home today. so that's the very latest from here. again, as you mentioned, what we're waiting on right now, that 5:00 news conference where we do expect to learn a little bit more about precisely how the three women were captured.
1:19 pm
also, perhaps, that is when the formal charges will be announced. >> craig, it was an overwhelming scene earlier at the berry home. we didn't hear from amanda berry herself. but we did hear from her sister, beth. let's take a listen. >> we appreciate all you have done for us throughout the past ten years. please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements, and thank you. >> craig, obviously a very distraught relative. have we been given any indication yet about when amanda berry may be prepared to make a public statement? >> reporter: no. no indication. quite honestly, martin, when we heard earlier today that amanda berry was going to be speaking to the media, we were all taken aback. that caught us all a bit off guard. keep in mind, according to the police, at least as of five or six hours ago, this is based on this preliminary conversation that they had with the three
1:20 pm
women, we're told that those three women who were being kept inside that house for a decade did not see another adult outside the home for roughly ten years. so imagine the scene for amanda berry when she pulled up today and she saw that crush of cameras. the balloons. the cheering crowds. so one could deduce that, perhaps, either amanda berry or someone in her family thought better about allowing her to speak today. again, martin, while i'm talking to you, the fbi evidence team has moved to the back of this -- this first house. again, no indication. haven't seen them come out with anything just yet. it is as if they are anticipating gathering some additional evidence. i did speak to a number of investigators about an hour ago here on scene.
1:21 pm
they told me they were done excavating for the day. they were not going to be digging up any more of the yard. that they had also not found any human remains here on the site. >> craig melville on the scene in cleveland. next, we'll head back to phoenix as the jury prepares to deliver a verdict in the jodi arias murder trial. time for the "your business" s entrepreneur of the week. garza says latino customers are attracted by the friendly bilingual staff and his product's unique flavors like a jalapeno mix pizza. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings 7:30 on msnbc. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost.
1:22 pm
when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. ♪ the middle of this special moment
1:23 pm
and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. ♪ so today, i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells. toviaz can cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased sweating. do not drive, operate machinery or do unsafe tasks until you know how toviaz affects you. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. talk to your doctor about toviaz.
1:24 pm
as we continue to await the decision of the jury in the jodi arias trial, i want to welcome back karen de soto and rikki klieman, both former defense attorneys. joining the panel dr. lawrence kablinski. first let's get back to the courthouse and to our own correspondent, diana alvear. what is the scene there? in the last 25 minutes the crowd has been growing by the second. >> reporter: absolutely.
1:25 pm
that crowd is growing by the second, getting a little bit more emotional as time ticks by. they know they're this much closer to hearing what joe ti arias's fate will be. i have friends inside the courthouse telling me dismissed juror number five was just escorted into the courtroom. if you recall three jurors were dismissed in total over that four month trial. all of them clearly still keen to find out what's going on and deeply invested in the outcome of this trial. travis alexander's sisters and the rest of his family are seated. jodi arias's mother and some of their family members are there as well. they've just let in the media. prosecutor juan martinez got a hero's welcome on his way into that courthouse. i spoke to one woman from texas yesterday who said the only reason she's here is because she loves the job he's done and she wants to tell him in person. that's how passionate people are about this trial. that's why so many are waiting with bated breath to hear the outcome. >> is it still your
1:26 pm
understanding the verdict will be at 4:30 eastern? >> reporter: absolutely. we were told they just wanted to give everybody enough time and seated to hear the verdict read out loud. we decided there was a verdict. they decided to let the jurors go to lunch. the jurors taking just a quick break before the world finds out what they decided was the true outcome for jodi arias. >> i'd like to bring in dr. lawrence cab -- kablinski. here we have an individual whose dna was on the weapon used to murder the defendant. she now admits to the murder. she claims it was in defense, self-defense. what defense does chef in the light of that? >> first of all, there were two weapons. there was a gun as well as a knife. this was a horrendous crime where travis alexander was stabbed 29 times. one of those blows was lethal. severing the superior vena cava. he was also subjected to a knife
1:27 pm
slitting his throat from one end to the next, severing the airway and severing the jugular and carotid. that was also a fatal blow. if that wasn't enough, we ended up with a gunshot to the right side of his head that penetrated his brain and frontal lobe. now, the real distinction here between the defense and the prosecution is that the prosecution said he was shot last. where as the defense is saying he was shot first. that is a clear cut difference. this is where the autopsy comes in to position. and the medical evidence is very clear cut here. it's very simple. once the person is shot in the brain, in the frontal lobe, he or she can no longer raise his hands in defense of a knife attack. now, he had, travis alexander had, defense wounds, knife wounds, on both hands. okay? and so if he was shot first,
1:28 pm
there's no way he could have sustained the injuries to his hands through defense. and what this translates to is that the autopsy results are telling us together with medical examiner testimony is clearly telling us that the defense hypothesis or claim is simply impossible. >> it's simply impossible. >> simply impossible. >> rikki, does that render her defense itself implausible? >> well, her defense is implausible. not only in light of the forensic evidence but in light of all of the evidence about premeditation plus the coverup, plus the lies upon lies. while saying that, the defense strategy is to save her life. no one is is thinking that she is fwoigoing to walk out of her like casey anthony. that's a whole other kind of case where the forensic evidence was next to nothing. here the forensic evidence definitely supports the prosecution. >> indeed, the defendant admits
1:29 pm
killing. >> of course. >> travis alexander. says she did so in self-defense. karen, what do you think of the claims that jodi arias's counsel made before the jury that her reaction, and indeed the explanation for why she lied, was all down to ptsd. some kind of psychological trauma. and, of course, the defense brought in several expert witnesses to try to present that narrative. >> well, it always helps to have witnesses kind of back up what you're saying. but, again, it's very, very difficult for self-defense, for battered wife syndrome. so painting the picture that they did of a woman who was in fear, you know, it's very difficult. i mean, again, premeditated. the gasoline. the car. you know, all of those factors are very difficult. however, when you were just talking about the head being slashed so badly that it was
1:30 pm
nearly severed, usually that's an indication or something a defense attorney would use in a second degree argument. that they were so passionate, so inflamed that it was a crime of passion and a lot of the -- 90% of the time like nicole simpson's case, when you have somebody whose head was nearly severed off, that's usually an indicator of crime of passion. that's another factor that even though it looks like the weight of the evidence is against you as a defense attorney, you have to come up with a strategy. these are little tidbits using the forensic evidence in your favor. again, it's connecting with one of those jurors and maybe they will buy or agree with your version and your strategy. listen, the difference between somebody having one juror agree with you is life and death in this case. >> of course it is. to your point, rikki, it's not an issue about guilt or innocence. it's actually the condition in which she'll spend the rest of her life or whether she, indeed, will face the death penalty as a result of this. >> yes, of course.
1:31 pm
it's one thing for these jurors to go all the way to where the defense has tried to take them in closing argument, which is she snapped. it was the heat of passion. so that's not saying send her home, ladies and gentlemen. that's saying come back with second degree or manslaughter. >> or manslaughter. >> but, really, with everything they've said, is there one person who just doesn't want her to go to get that lethal injection? that's the ultimate question. of course, these jurors know if they come back with a first-degree verdict that the next step for them is to look at aggravating circumstances and then to decide life or death. that's an awfully mighty decision to put on one's shoulders. >> it is, indeed. when you, dr. kobilinsky, you look at the evidence you just cited, what effect does that accumulation of violence have on
1:32 pm
a jury? >> to say it's inflammatory would be an understatement. this crime of rage, this overkill is dramatic. think about stabbing somebody 20 times. remember, a gunshot you can do from a distance. a stabbing you've got to be right in there. this right in your face 29 times. think about how long that takes. also, he started out in the shower. there was a lot of blood found in the master bedroom. that's probably where his throat was slit. the bleeding from an artery, the carotid, is a pulsating bleeding. it's got a certain kind of blood spatter. a lot of blood there. so it appears from what i've read, not what the prosecutor is saying but what i've read, is that he was pulled out of the shower. he crawled toward the master bedroom. his throat was slit. he was then down on his -- he
1:33 pm
was prone. she turned him around, upsidedown where his back was now to the ground and pulled him back into the shower. where the final blow was struck, the gunshot. so this is premeditated. it's overkill. it's a crime of rage. but premeditated. and i think if i were a juror, i would really -- i would -- it would be very hard to look for mitigating circumstances. >> premeditated in the sense that these weapons were accumulated and she went in and perpetrated these acts of violence. >> correct. >> and we look at the whole idea of the rental car and the gas cans. these were acts of someone at least from the prosecution's point of view who was planning for quite a while. i mean, this wasn't like premeditation can be an instant. this was a long period of time. >> yet in relation to the rental car, the defense said, well, if she was trying to conceal
1:34 pm
something -- >> how stupid could she be? >> why would she go to a major lot where there were cameras and so on? what's your response to that? >> well, sometimes criminals are, in fact, not so smart. even when they think they are. and some criminals, especially ones who seem to be pathological liars like jodi arias, think that they can get away with murder. >> karen, this was a salacious trial. i mean, some of the stuff that was discussed would be inappropriate to discuss at this time of day for our audience. and much play was also made by the fact that travis alexander was a mormon and a very devout mormon. so on the one hand there was this idea of him being a man with good manners, aiming for a certain standard of behavior. and yet that was turned against him, was it not, by jodi arias' defense? >> i can tell you, martin, from doing a lot of rape cases that when you start to infringe or
1:35 pm
try to depict the victim in a bad light or, you know, start saying very negative things about them, that's a very risky strategy. and one that you have to do over a course of days before you get to that ultimate saying that he's a mormon. but i think that that's probably one of the more intriguing parts of this case is that there was that evidence that he was a mormon. that he was a religious person. but yet he's sexting and also they're engaged in this sexual role-playing. again, these are all the little salacious facts that the public likes to hear and interests them. but obviously these are two very good looking people. this is one of the reasons why there's so much media attention. because of these intriguing factors. also the use of social media. the fact that the defendant was twittering, facebook, all of the information and evidence that's coming out. i can tell you that when you have evidence in a courtroom such as texts and facebook messages and photos, it makes a large, huge difference with the jurors than it does if you just
1:36 pm
have testimony and people reading things back. >> what do you mean by that, karen? >> well, when you have evidence, hard evidence, such as texts, pictures, things that the jurors can look at instead of having somebody describe a situation, when you see pictures of somebody who is supposed to be a mormon or very religious and you see them -- hear them talking about very sexual things, the graphic details of those things, seeing them for themselves, seeing it in their own words that they were texting back and forth or seeing live shots or tape recordings or tapes, it has a very, very large impact on a juror. it's very different than somebody testifying to something that they saw. you don't get the same details. you don't get the same senses. they don't get the same feedback that you would with evidence that's it shall that's right there in front of you that that victim, that actual victim, texted themselves or was involved in. >> diana alvear at the courthouse, the judge is obviously not there yet because
1:37 pm
it's now something like seven minutes later than we were expecting a verdict. we have a feed direct from the courthouse, which is of the seal of the state of arizona. can you explain or do you have any information about why this delay is occurring? >> reporter: i was just asking my colleague who's in that courthouse right now what the delay is, if the jury is in place or are we waiting on somebody, is jodi arias in the courtroom. i'm expecting to get answers from her in just a moment. i just wanted to touch on what you were talking about, jodi arias tweeting. this is a first for me. i've covered a lot of trials. i've never heard of a defendant tweeting at her case on social media. i was reading some of her tweets. one of them that set everybody on fire on sunday was when she tweeted out asking people to support victims of domestic violence. and the twittersphere just went crazy. she also talked about that she didn't want to go to trial. she felt her only other option
1:38 pm
was suicide but that travis alexander's family refused to settle. a lot of very provocative types of tweets happening while the jury was deliberating. i myself had to wonder, what is the point of putting that out there in the public? is it just you feel you have to have your say? very unusual to have a defendant in a murder trial tweeting about her own case. you don't expect to hear from them. >> indeed. diana, throughout the case, jodi arias's defense made the point or made the allegation that travis alexander had repeatedly abused jodi arias. had been violent towards her. but did they ever produce any evidence to that effect? >> reporter: no, they didn't. apart from the infamous broken finger that everybody has seen by now in a lot of the highlight loops, there were no real -- there was no real evidence to show that she'd been abused. there were no, for example, pictures of bruises or any sort of stays in the hospital. none of his friends ever reported seeing him get angry or have a temper.
1:39 pm
several of his former girlfriends were put on the stand and testified they'd never seen that side of him. so it was a bit of a hard sell according to people who believe she's guilty that he had ever abused her. however, the things that they did present in court were some pretty inflammatory texts and e-mails from travis alexander to jodi arias. some of which used very derogatory language toward her and seemed very inflammatory. but we don't have any hard evidence that he ever actually physically abused her. >> did any of those texts or e-mails, diana, did any of them suggest any kind of violence towards her? aside from obviously the offensive slurs on her character? >> reporter: no. you know, i mean, there was a lot of salacious kinds of stuff in his texts. those are the kinds of things that were very graphic. they were tough for everybody in that courthouse to see. really nothing that indicated he had any sort of abusive nature. he never threatened her. he never discussed any sort of past incidents of abuse.
1:40 pm
even in, you know, alluding to it or anything like that. so really we don't have any hard evidence that he abused jodi arias. of course, that's her defense. >> indeed. we'll continue to wait, as i said. we were expecting a verdict at 4:30. the jury is seated. we understand the courtroom is full. the media have been invited in. but as yet we do not have the ju judge and we do not have the verdict yet. rikki, references made just now by diana about this alleged broken finger. and jodi arias was seen to use that, gesticulate in front of the jury to say, look, i do have an injury. what do you think of in photographs she was depicted in a bikini in blond hair. suddenly you see her in court. her hair is dark. she's wearing thick rimmed spectacles.
1:41 pm
you're laughing. >> i'm laughing because that's what attorneys do. they try to pose their client in the best light so the jury seeing somebody incapable of doing violence unless it's for self-protection. the dress, the demeanor, the hair color. she looks very different now than when she was seen on these photos. >> and she should look very different now. and i think the defense attorneys are correct in doing that. because it's her life, after all. it's her life. so they may see her as she once was, but what the defense wants to do ethically and properly is have the jurors regard her in a new light. and i think that's important. in addition to the defense attorneys probably helping her make this transition, you have to look at the female defense attorney and then look at jodi ari arias. they're down not only to the same hair color, they're down to the same eyeglass rims. there is that kind of transference that i think the defense wanted the jury to see.
1:42 pm
>> karen, does that have an effect on a jury? >> it absolutely does. in fact, martin, i used to keep suits in the backseat of my car in men's sizes in multiple sizes so that if my client -- if we had a hearing and he was brought to court in an orange jump suit i can take one of those suits out of there and have him dress before the hearing. yes, it makes a huge effect. obviously you're going to paint a picture. the problem, martin, is that domestic violence is a very -- there's two sides to that coin. one is that domestic violence is a very quiet action. you know, victims don't like to talk about it. the other side of it is when you're a defense attorney or prosecutor, one of the things that you know the jury likes to see or will be favorable to you is multiple visits to the hospital. a therapist. a pattern of that. beyond that, those cases are very difficult. those defenses are very difficult. so even though domestic violence is a very secretive crime, for
1:43 pm
many, many women when something actually happens it's the other side of the coin that you have to have evidence such as therapy and witnesses and marks and bruises that you normally want to hide. so that's one of the problems in these domestic violence cases. >> right. karen, rikki was just saying this is part of the defense's almost responsibility they have to do the best by their client. so they do so. was it not difficult, therefore, for the jury? they were being given e-mails and photographs and descriptions of this young woman that bore no relation to the person that sat in front of them. >> well, yes. obviously that's one of the factors that you have to counteract. that's probably one of the reasons why they decided to put her on the stand. you try throughout the trial to try and humanize them. the more access or more contact that the jury has with the defense attorney, the more likely they are in a death penalty case, now, martin. there's a difference. they're not going to want to kill that person if they identify with them. over four months, they're now familiar with them.
1:44 pm
you're hoping maybe, you know, you'll get that second degree murder charge or the strategy could be let me try and get that mistrial and then i'll go back to the prosecutors and i'll negotiate something. that's a very real strategy. >> rikki, how does the prosecution overcome all of that choreography. >> well, they can overcome the choreography the way they did. they did it with facts. they had the facts on their side. and the defense did not have the facts on their side. i give the defense an absolute "a" for effort. i think that these lawyers did the best they could with what they had. most of the good stuff was on the side of the government. and the government cross-examined jodi arias till kingdom come. she was on the witness stand for 18 days, for eheaven's sake. >> of course, in arizona, the jury is granted the opportunity to question the defendant themselves. >> and did not only question the defendant themselves, but submitted over 200 questions to the defendant that really, at least from the tone, if you want
1:45 pm
to take the tone from what you read, that the judge reads of their questions, those questions were highly skeptical of the veracity of jodi arias. >> diana alvear, are you still with us outside the court? >> reporter: i am. i just got an update. they're waiting for the jury to be seated and the judge. the families are place. the attorneys are in place. the tension is mounting inside that room. of course, we all expected to have that verdict at 1:30 local time. that time has come and gone. we really don't know what's causing that delay. it's anybody's guess. >> you're saying, diana, the judge and the jury are not in position. >> reporter: that is what i was told by an insider inside that courtroom right now. >> right. rikki, going back to the evidence in the case, and we've discussed this previously, this is not about whether she murdered travis alexander. that she has now conceded. >> well, she conceded she killed
1:46 pm
him. >> she conceded she killed him. right. the issue here is first degree, second degree or manslaughter. >> right. or not guilty. but that's not going to happen. >> okay. but given the fact jodi arias has been in custody for some lengthy period of time now, what happens if the verdict is manslaughter? does she walk free? >> i doubt it. the penalty for manslaughter is 7 to 21 years. certainly in a case where there is this much evidence, if the jury were to come back with a manslaughter verdict, which frankly i doubt, but i've been surprised before -- >> right. let's consider the possibility that they do. >> well, then her time served counts against the time that she would be sentenced to. but she's not going to be sentenced to a minimum. >> what do you think? based on this hypothesis that, let's say she's given a verdict of manslaughter. to what extent does the years that she's served already counteract against the severity
1:47 pm
of the sentence? >> it just counts. it's considered time served. if she's sentenced -- as i see the judge appearing, i will be quiet. >> okay. we are now ready to go into the courtroom. as you can see, jodi arias is seated with counsel and we expect to hear from the judge in just a moment.
1:48 pm
please stand for the jury. >> please be seated. the record will show the presence of the jury, the defendant and all counsel. ladies and gentlemen, i understand you have reached a verdict. the verdict form has been handed to the bailiff. please come forward.
1:49 pm
the clerk will read and record the verdict. >> the state of arizona versus jodi ann arias, verdict, count one. we the jury duly impanelled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder, guilty. five jurors find premeditated. zero find felony murder. seven find both premeditated and felony. signed, foreperson. is this your true verdict so say you one and all? >> yes.
1:50 pm
>> ladies and gentlemen, the clerk is now going to ask each of you a question. please answer yes or no. >> jury number one, is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> jury number two, is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number three is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number four is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number six is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number seven is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number nine is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> jury number 12 is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number 13 is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number 14 is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number 16 is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> juror number 18 is this your true verdict? >> yes. >> all right. ladies and gentlemen, the next phase of the trial will begin tomorrow at 1:00. please be here at 12:45. between now and then the admonition continues to apply. do not speak about this case. do not view any media about this
1:51 pm
case. are there any questions? you are excused. >> please stand for the jury. >> the verdict in the case a unanimous guilty verdict of first degree murder. diana alvear, you're outside the court. what's the reaction? >> let me tell you something, martin. as soon as they said guilty, screams came from overin front of the courthouse. i could tell it looks like a block party is going on out there. everybody was hugging, cheering, tears. everybody is so happy that the jury decided to go with a guilty verdict for jodi arias. it really does feel like people out here really took this personally. if you look over my shoulder right there you can see people starting to walk away from the courthouse. many of them probably feel right now they got what they wanted and travis alexander got justice. >> right. your reaction, rikki? >> i think it was an appropriate
1:52 pm
verdict. i think absolutely p jury took the time to follow the evidence. the evidence in this case was rather overwhelming to say the least. they may not decide to sentence her to death, but justice is done. when the government can prove someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with the quantity and quality of the evidence they had in this case. >> dr. kobilinsky? >> i'm just amazed by the lack of emotion. the coldness in her look. you're being told -- you're being found guilty of first degree murder, and there's no emotion? >> well, her lips were very tightly persed. she looked as though she was trying to hold herself together. she didn't cry. she was swallowing very heavily. you're right. there was no overt display of emotion. >> yeah. she's got to go into the next phase of sentencing. i think it would have been better for her if she showed some human emotion. it might have appealed to the decision makers in the future. >> karen, your reaction to that
1:53 pm
verdict? >> well, i mean, it is -- it's not a surprise. it would have been a surprise if it was a second degree -- >> that was what you said at the beginning of this hour. >> right. or a manslaughter. i mean, obviously, again, stabbed, slashed, shot. those are difficult factors to overcome. however, i do have to tell you that when the jury does come in and they're seated, most attorneys, most defense attorneys, will give a warning to their client and also to the family's client that no matter what the verdict is, there's an appeal process. do not scream out. do not have a reaction. and so that's one of the reasons why you'll see a lot of the times obviously the defendants will do what they will. but they are given instructions by their attorneys to both them and their families, please don't shout out. don't do anything. try and control yourself. >> rikki, the argument that the defense had used that she had defended herself from a violent assault, clearly just not persuasive. >> not persuasive in light of the forensic evidence. i mean, this is not one stab
1:54 pm
wound. h is not one shot. as dr. kibilinsky has been so articulate in describing the horrendous wounds in this case. the verdict is not a surprise. the evidence was good. and really ultimately now what these jurors are coming to is the truly hard decision in their lives. if you notice, the verdict was split in terms of how -- >> premeditated and felony murder. >> right. i was actually very surprised that not all of them came to premeditated. so that may have some room for the defense when they bring in what they call their mitigation specialist. that is another lawyer who will do the penalty phase of the case. >> and that will be tomorrow? >> well, they start with aggravation first. so it's really a three-part trial in arizona. so the next phase is aggravation. and the government can prove that in about a minute and a half. i mean, this is a crime that was extremely cruel. so once the aggravation phase is
1:55 pm
done, they have to take a vote on that. then they go to the mitigation phase. and i would imagine that the defense will, as they say, put on a full court press. karen, what do you think? do you think this verdict are going to -- sorry. this judge is going to uphold the potential for a death penalty in this case? >> well, martin, we know that death penalties against females are very, very rare. most people do not like to kill other people no matter what the circumstances. and depending on what the religious convictions are, obviously people don't like to, you know, murder isn't right or death is not right any way you slice it. so that's a very, very difficult question. obviously the circumstances surrounding it were extremely horrific. but most people do not like the death penalty. they don't like it. most enlightened societies do not have it. as horrific as some things may seem, people shy away from that and they don't like to do it. then there's other people who
1:56 pm
think that if you take a life, then you should give your life. >> diana, you've been at the courtroom. you've been outside. you said earlier that when the verdict was reached, there were shouts of celebration. is the crowd now thinning out? are people leaving, feeling that perhaps they've got justice in this case? >> reporter: absolutely. many of them are leaving right now, streaming out of that courthouse off the courthouse steps. many of those people i was speaking to earlier today. they were telling me that they were here to see that the jury did it right. to get justice for travis alexander. many of them feel now justice has been done. it's a far cry from the scene i witnessed when i was covering casey anthony. all of those persons were very disappointed when the jury did not go the way they thought they would in casey anthony's case. but in this one, it looks like everybody's pretty satisfied. i've been told from inside the courthouse that jodi arias family was crying. the mother in particular. that travis alexander's sisters were crying and hugging one another and hugging one of
1:57 pm
travis alexander's former girlfriends, deanna. a very emotional scene inside that courthouse. even jodi arias herself, we saw her sobbing throughout the trial. we saw real tears from her today as that verdict was read. >> you say you saw tears. because we were watching and it didn't seem that obvious that she was crying. >> reporter: from what i could tell, it looked like she was crying. but we've seen this many, many times over four months. only jodi arias could tell you whether those tears are true. >> yeah, of course. justice served in this case, rikki? >> yes. without any doubt. i do think the difference with casey anthony as i will say over and over again, even to criticism, the difference in casey anthony's is we did not know how that child died, where that child died, when that child died. all of that goes right out the window in this case. we know precisely how travis alexander died. and it was hideous.
1:58 pm
>> i totally agree with what rikki said. there's no comparison between the casey anthony case and this case. it was like night and day. and i tell you, sometimes jurors get it wrong. the question is, is justice being done? i think based on the evidence that justice has been done. now we have to wait to see just how far justice is going to push this. >> we were hoping to show you the moment once again when jodi arias received the verdict from the jury. i'm waiting for directions from my director to see if we can play that. we can. this is the moment when jodi arias learned that she'd been found guilty of first degree murder. >> the clerk will read and record the verdict. >> state of arizona versus jodi ann arias, verdict, count one. we the jury duly impanelled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oaths do find the defendant as to count one,
1:59 pm
first degree murder, guilty. >> five jurors find premeditated. zero find felony murder. seven find both premeditated and felony. signed, foreperson. >> is this your true verdict so say you one and all? >> yes. >> that was the moment when jodi arias learned that she'd been found guilty of first degree murder. thank you for watching our broadcast this very busy news day. the big story of the hour, as i said, jodi arias found guilty of first-degree murder. a final word from you, rikki. >> i think that we will see if she will ultimately be put to death. but if this is where it rests, whether it's life or death, that should be enough for people. >> let's hope so. chris matthews and "hardball" is next.
2:00 pm
> kidnapped. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. if you see something, say something. when i hear that admonition i get the point. if you see someone put down a backpack at an airport and head off into the distance you're supposed to tell someone. you're supposed to get out of your comfort zone and do your duty. well, okay. you hear that a naked woman was seen crawling around in the backyard by somebody nearby on a dog leash. i call that seeing something. wouldn't you? if you saw it once and heard about it, someone seeing it, would you move on to other interests in your life? i don't have to worry about that. i have new things on my mind. if you saw a woman pounding on a window or door, a baby in her

92 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on